Mac Setups: MacBook Air with a Thunderbolt Display

Jan 28, 2012 - 22 Comments

MacBook Air and Thunderbolt display

The MacBook Air is widely considered to be one of the best Macs ever made. It’s incredibly portable, but also powerful enough to serve as a workstation, and setups like this one sent in by Stephen V really show off the flexibility of the ultraportable Apple laptop. Combined with a Thunderbolt display, the MacBook Air can be docked and expanded into an impressive desktop machine while still retaining it’s quick grab-and-go attribute that makes it so popular with anyone on the move. Here’s what Stephen’s desk setup consists of:

  • Macbook Air 13″ 1.8 Ghz Core i7 CPU, 4GB RAM, 256GB SSD
  • Twelve South BookArc stand for MacBook Air
  • Apple Thunderbolt 27″ Display
  • Mac Wireless keyboard
  • Logitech Performance MX Mouse
  • White Glass Kidney Bean shape desk

Other Apple hardware not shown in the picture includes an iPhone 4S, first gen Apple TV, Airport Express, and Airport Extreme base station. Thanks for sending in your great setup Stephen!

Check out more Mac setups in our archives.


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Posted by: William Pearson in Mac Setups


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  1. Rob says:

    Stephen, awesome setup! Very nice… I can see in the photo that your Logitech dongle is in the MBA rather than the TB USB ports. I have nearly identical setup without the stand and desk, and I wonder if you have ever tried the Performance MX Mouse dongle in the USB ports on the TB display, rather than in the MBA, because several of us have issues with that configuration that we think we’ve traced specifically to using the dongle in the TB ports. If you have an opportunity, I’d love it if you could check out the thread in the Apple support community, and share your experience! (thread URL


  2. Eriel says:

    Simplicity and functionality at its best. Cleanest setup I’ve seen. I am thinking of getting the thunderbolt display aswell. @Francois, The thunderbolt display has built in speakers that are decent and way better than the one on the MBA or MBP.

  3. Francois says:


    I liked your setup so much that I just replicated it! Thanks for the suggestion! The only thing “missing” in my view are speakers. I found music coming from the MBA less than satisfactory.

    Have you added any decent speakers to your setup since it has been unveiled? Would you have any suggestions that would be in line with the esthetic of your setup?

    Thanks again!


  4. Pippox0 says:

    Very nice setup. Clean and simple

  5. Stephen says:

    ikea ;)

  6. jr7138 says:

    Does anyone know the specs for the White Glass Kidney Bean shape desk? Mainly where can I get one?


  7. clem says:

    Most beautiful setup i’ve seen here so far. Not too many people have the guts to pay 1000$ for a screen. But that’s the price of perfection i believe.

  8. Bojan says:

    Just drop dead gorgeous. I am aiming for this setup, I just lack the monitor. I am down with it to the point that I have same mouse.

    That mouse is productivity powerhouse. Highly recommended!

    • Stephen says:

      Get the monitor its great, i love my setup, only thing i find is that my macbook does get quite hot in clamshell mode when watching flash or data transfer apart from that thanks .

      As for the mouse, yes i tried the apple mice but way too uncomfortable.

  9. Charles Dale says:

    Very nice setup. Clean, simple and neat. Be proud of this setup.

  10. René Dubois says:

    Lovely desk, best in a while.

  11. Tom says:

    Nice setup 👍

  12. David says:

    Some help…. but how do you use a Macbook with the lid closed, i.e. for playing music etc from the Apple Remote app on a phone with the laptop closed over…. I’ve just never run into how to make this possible..!?

  13. Wow. Looks amazing. Very nice shot, very nice set up. Thumbs up!

  14. Ian says:

    Drooling because this is basically my dream setup, but I have a hard time on paying $1000 for a screen.

    • Ken says:

      totally agree. Wouldn’t purchase a cinema display (unless it was with a MacPro, rather just get an iMac.

      • Stephen says:

        Portability is the key, Cant walk or take an iMac around the house or 2 mates houses. plus i looked at the equivalent spec monitor and it was a dell and wasn’t much cheaper forget that!

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